Water conveyance systems in California : historic context development and evaluation procedures
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Water conveyance systems in California : historic context development and evaluation procedures

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    There is increased awareness that canals and other water conveyance facilities can be historically significant, and that when transportation projects do have the potential to affect them, they need to be studied systematically. However, important water conveyance systems are frequently extensive and sometimes quite complex, while transportation project effects on them are typically limited to a small segment of the entire property. Under these circumstances, developing a basic historical context would allow researchers to work from a baseline of existing knowledge, thus helping to achieve a suitable balance between the need for adequate information and expenditure of a reasonable level of effort. Because of California?s unique combination of natural resources, climate, topography, history, and development patterns, the state has a variety and number of water conveyance systems possessed by few if any other states. Consequently, little guidance has been developed at a national or regional level, leaving California to develop its own statewide historic context and methodology. Sufficient research has now been conducted on California?s water conveyance systems to provide this historic context and survey methodology for the appropriate consideration of water conveyance systems, especially the frequently encountered canals and ditches, in order to take into account the effect of transportation projects on historic water conveyance facilities. Some level of research may be necessary to identify the possibility of historical associations and to reach a conclusion as to whether an evaluative study would be warranted, but certain types of water conveyance facilities are generally more likely than others to require study. Likely properties include any prehistoric or mission-era irrigation systems; gold rush-era mining ditches; early or major irrigation, reclamation, or hydroelectric systems; major multi-purpose systems; flumes, tunnels, or ditches that may possess engineering, construction, or design distinction; properties associated with important events, such as critical or precedent setting litigation; and any early or prototype facilities. This report offers a thematic approach to the identification and evaluation of the major types of water conveyance systems found in California. The term ?water conveyance system? underscores two concepts that are central to this approach. First, structures designed to move water from one place to another are frequently part of a larger system and can be evaluated only by consideration of the entire system. Second, such systems delivered water that facilitated other activities, and thus their importance must be understood in relation to broader developments and the challenges that California?s varied landscapes posed. Bibliography, index, 2 appendices. (197p; 9.1Mb)
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